Global and Local Consciousness of Environmental Sustainability
Melting glaciers, resource depletion, ocean acidification, deforestation, loss of biodiversity, air pollution, environmental contamination, climate change… most would agree that the natural environment upon which we are dependent is rapidly degrading. Environmental studies show that this can be observed from the highest peaks of Mount Everest to the lowest-lying islands, with this century exhibiting the most carbon dioxide emitted for 650,000 years (Zaid, Rad, & Zainon, 2017). Even the COVID-19 pandemic bears the signs of being exacerbated by toxicity from air pollution.
Much of this environmental decline can be felt in Kazakhstan, whose characteristic development during the Soviet period was far from sustainable in terms of uncontrolled environmental pollution (Thomas, 2015). The environment of Kazakhstan is experiencing ongoing pressure from human activity.
Concentrations of sulphur, carbon oxides and particulates in the atmosphere, especially around the commercial center of Almaty, are several times higher than acceptable levels. This is linked to extensive natural resource extraction and increased energy consumption as well as intensive conventional agricultural practices (Beisenova, 2020).
This extends to contamination of Kazakhstan's water system that gives cause for particular concern. This negatively affects the almost 2 million people presently and will continue to do so into the future.
Fortunately, although not yet satisfactory, most indications of environmental pollution have steadily improved since the implementation of the Environmental Code of the Republic of Kazakhstan in 2007. This shows that, as well as being necessary, an ecological basis of sustainable development of Kazakhstan can bring much amelioration (Russell et al., 2018).
Why FRAUDHUNTER Needs to be "ECO"
Despite the emergence of myriad environmental movements at all scales aiming to raise awareness and combat degradation of the Earth, climate experts fear that we are at a ‘point of no return’. This means everyone has a part to play in providing a supportive environment for human life, health and activities. Business enterprises are a dominant form of social organization and so hold a lot of the responsibility in the enhancement of the natural environment (Melville, 2010).
FRAUDHUNTER recognizes that all of us need an intact environment within which to function healthily and to the fullness of our potential. The main avenues to achieve this are: increasing the use of renewable energy and improved energy efficiency and waste management. The latter referring to avoidance of disposable, non-recyclable materials in favor of recyclable and/or reusable materials.
FRAUDHUNTER’s Sustainable Actions
Being party to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, Kazakhstan has committed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Having more renewable energy in the energy balance reduces harmful effects of the energy sector (Bayeshov, Yegeubayeva, & Bayeshova, 2016).
Whilst recognizing the potential for solar power to directly generate renewable power for a building, one has to realize that of the 0.6 percent total power that is from renewable sources in Kazakhstan, 95% is from hydropower (Tasmaganbetov, Кunurkulzhayeva, Imanbayeva, Ataniyazov, & Shaikin, 2020).
This highlights the incredible potential of this energy source to fuel sustainable development and FRAUDHUNTER, whilst directly wanting to utilise solar energy, aims further to raise awareness of the very accessible form of ‘Eco-energy’ of hydroelectricity.
In terms of improved energy efficiency there are many factors ‘green offices’ can take into account, the first of which is the exclusive use of energy-saving lightbulbs i.e. compact fluorescent light bulbs. Compared to the standard incandescent lightbulb, energy-savers use only 20-25% of the energy needed to cast the same amount of light (Di Maria, Ferreira, & Lazarova, 2010).
Other important factors include device profiles and occupant behavior relating to plug loads in offices (Kamilaris, Kalluri, Kondepudi, & Wai, 2014). These are influenced by employee education and onboarding with FRAUDHUNTER’s mission to minimize its ecological footprint coupled with active monitoring via metering.
Other important building functions to consider are heating and cooling. Heating processes can be made more sustainable by using eco-friendly insulation that minimizes energy consumption.
There are numerous sustainable materials that can be used for insulation, including ThermoCork, recycled cellulose and surprisingly polystyrene because of its incredible insulation potential.
Heating can also be efficiently controlled by Smart controls that enable automatic adjustment of heating according to weather and occupant capacity. As one can read on friendsoftheearth.uk/climate/eco-heating-what-are-options, efficient management can save a minimum of 5% energy. In terms of heating mechanisms, the most efficient are heat pumps, which can reduce a building’s pollution footprint by 50-60%.
In consideration of cooling:
It is similar to heating, where Smart management and carefully thought-out mechanisms can vastly reduce carbon footprint. Along with energy consumption, what also contributes to the pollution footprint significantly with regards to air conditioning are the raw materials, specifically gases, used. Here there is reference to the infamous chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) and halogenated chlorofluorocarbons (HCFCs) that damage the protective ozone layer.
Better alternatives include the reusable hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) and even more climate-friendly alternatives like ammonia. It can also aid significantly to ensure that the size of the system is suitable for the indoor area.
From the middle of the previous century until now a total of 6.3 billion tonnes of plastic waste were produced with 79% of that being stored in landfills or being directly released into the natural environment. Single-use packaging and other products account for one third of this (Rhodes, 2018).
The widespread contamination as plastics fragment into microplastics and cover every inch of the Earth is the cause for much concern as we wait for the health impacts these will undoubtably cause. Alternatives include strict use of recyclable forms of plastic to limit virgin plastic production or the use of packaging and cups made from biodegradable materials.
FRAUDHUNTER takes the stance of ‘nature as teacher’: following the example of circular ecosystems. Waste management ties in with food production, where we should support more on the local than the global scale, with smaller inputs of fuels, water and fertilisers.
All the evidence reveals that the planet has crossed a tipping point. This is with respect to land degradation and pollution as well as pollution of air and water bodies; ultimately ending up in our own bodies. FRAUDHUNTER decides to take the wheel with actions relating to corporate social responsibility that are proven to minimize an ecological footprint.
Utilizing consultations with qualified plant and soil scientists, life cycle assessments and staying up-to-date with contemporary ‘green’ practices, FRAUDHUNTER hopes to set the example for businesses and individuals alike to facilitate nature’s healing for a tomorrow our children can enjoy.